This article provides the first opinion regarding whether or not Plaintiffs’ contention that defendant ADT LLC discriminated against him/her on the basis of religion is valid. This case arises out of defendant ADT LLC’s refusal to hire Plaintiff Issen Alibris as a position in California because of information contained in a previous background report prepared by a major consumer reporting bureau. On May 11, 2021, the Human Resources Department of the ADT LLC filed a lawsuit in Federal Court against the individual identified as the owner of the Company called “Issen Alibo.” The complaint alleged that the individual discriminated against Plaintiff Alibri because of his “Arab American heritage.” The background report referred to Applicant Issen Alibo as an “Iraqi and Hezbollah Resistant” and listed his membership in numerous Arab and international terrorist groups. According to the complaint, after further examination by the ADT LLC investigators, the company determined that Applicant Issen Alibo was in fact a Muslim and not an Arab American.
Two weeks later, on July 4, the ADT attorneys filed their complaint in Federal Court. On August 5, the court ordered the company to take all appropriate actions to remedy the complaint. On August 6, the case was heard by the judge assigned to the case, Judge James Warren. On August 12, the judge stated in his written ruling that he will not rule in favor of the plaintiffs. Instead, the court will allow the plaintiffs to amend their complaint to include a claim that the defendants violated the Anti-discrimination Act.
On October 7, the plaintiffs filed a complaint with the Office of Fair Employment Practice for violation of the Anti-discrimination Act. The complaint was filed on behalf of applicant Issen Alibo. On July 12, the OFPB filed its own complaint in Federal Court against the corporation. On July 13, the OFPB informed the company that it has until midnight of the day before the end of the business week on which it is required to file its complaint. This deadline was imposed because the Act is in effect during the summer holiday season, and many companies choose to settle their claims rather than go to court with the possibility of losing their licenses to sell oil and natural gas.
On July 14, the company finally filed its Answer to the complaint. The Answer denies all of the allegations in the complaint. On July 16, the OFPB filed its complaint in Federal Court. The complaint contains two separate paragraphs. The first paragraph states that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) were not consulted by the company in connection with its complaint.
The second paragraph acknowledges that the company was instructed by OSHA to file a formal complaint. The third paragraph contains additional information that is not contained in the answer. According to the third paragraph, the facts giving rise to the proposed class action comprise three classifications. They are: general negligence, strict liability, and disparate impact. The paragraphs also disclose the names of the three classifications, as well as the specifications for each one, as explained in the safety and health article that was released in January.
The parties advise the court that they have a disagreement with the meaning of the facts giving rise to the class action. Plaintiffs argue that the document refers to the statutory definitions found in OSHA manuals and professional dictionaries. defendants maintain that the definition refers to common standards and is consistent with both the letter and spirit of the law. Judge Marks issued an order granting summary judgment in favor of plaintiffs, holding that the complaint is not barred by the rule of uniform design. The opinion indicates that the courts will likely continue to consider the issue of whether or not plaintiffs have a reasonable case.
There is a fourth classification, which is applicable if plaintiffs cannot show a likelihood of prevailing on the merits. This would be called the “time-barred” rule. The plaintiffs must file a complaint within one year of the date the violation occurred. The plaintiff has twenty-one days to file a complaint with the secretary of state that includes the complaint, a copy of the complaint, an explanation and claim, an assignment of attorney fees, and a statutory declaration. If the complaint is filed after this time period, the defendant is ipso facto granted a statutory right to trial.
The majority opinion in issen Alibris makes the obvious point that plaintiffs need to take time to properly file their claims. The dissent indicates that it is within the power of the attorney to request an extension based upon “the existence and scope of the underlying factual record.” In addition, the dissent suggests that if a court is required to appoint counsel to handle the underlying complaint, the court should “presume” that counsel can adequately handle the claims unless it is convinced otherwise. As a result of all these considerations, I concur in the judgment of the Court of Appeals.
Issen Alibris v. Securities and Exchange Commission, Circuit Court of California No. 11-5200.